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£400m funding boost for electric car charging

The scheme is being funded equally by taxpayers and private investors.

A £400 million fund for electric car charging has been launched (Fiona Hanson/PA)
A £400 million fund for electric car charging has been launched (Fiona Hanson/PA)

By Neil Lancefield, PA Transport Correspondent

A £400 million fund to boost electric vehicle charging infrastructure has been launched, the Treasury said.

The first £70 million will be allocated for 3,000 charge points, more than doubling the number across the UK to 5,000.

The scheme is being funded equally by taxpayers and private investors.

It forms part of the Government’s ambition to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2040.

We need a good supply of affordable new and used electric vehicles to convince more consumers to plug in AA president Edmund King

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “It’s fantastic there is already a rapid charge point at almost every motorway service station, and now more charging stations than petrol stations.

“But I want to see thousands more charge points installed across the UK.

“This fund will help drum up further investment in charging infrastructure from the private sector, so charging an electric car becomes as easy as plugging in a smartphone.”

AA president Edmund King acknowledged that “good progress” is being made on the road to electrification but warned there is still “a long journey ahead”.

He added: “This £400 million investment in rapid chargers will help but we need a good supply of affordable new and used electric vehicles to convince more consumers to plug in rather than continue going to the pumps.”

Data published by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders shows 17,393 pure electric new cars were registered during the first eight months of the year, up 93% compared with the same period in 2018.

These cars now hold a 1% share of the new car market.

But industry experts have warned that demand will be limited unless charging infrastructure is significantly improved.

The Treasury also announced a further £143 million for research and development to combat air and water pollution, and boost sustainability.

PA

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